Introducing Durham Connects

LUEWWD X: We Deliver!, benefiting Durham Connects, is happening on Saturday, May 17th. Before the event takes place, we want you to know more about the organization you’ll be supporting. Thank you to the Program Director Jeannine Sato for sharing this story with us! Check out Jeannine’s alter-ego The Jolly Gestational Giant; she’ll be representing Durham Connects on stage as a contestant! 



Balancing an Early Baby with an Older Sister and a Job

Pam Dardess is a married, working mother of 2. Although she has many resources for parenting, she was concerned when her second child was born several weeks early. The unexpectedly early birth was a stressful experience both because of health concerns for the baby, but also for Pam’s life juggling work and another child. Pam had also experienced long lasting postpartum depression after her first child that went undiagnosed for many months after birth. She was aware of the possibility again and was vigilant about looking for the warning signs. She was extremely grateful to her Durham Connects nurse who discussed all of these issues and screened Pam for post partum depression during her home visit. Luckily, Pam was not depressed and felt that the extra care and attention paid by her and her nurse contributed to her health. Pam and her family are happy and healthy supporters of Durham Connects.

In the photo with Pam are her husband Tad and daughters Leah and “early bird” Maya.

Image 20



Other stories:

Durham Connects helps in a Crisis

Every Baby is Different

If you’d like to learn more about Durham Connects beyond the stories being shared here, please visit the organization’s website.


SIGN UP TO BE A CONTESTANT  (check out your competition here)



Arm Wrestle at LUEWWD X: We Deliver!

Have you been thinking about ways to meet cool people in within the Durham?

Do you secretly wish that Halloween was more than once a year so you can find another reason to dress in costume?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in Sylvester Stallone’s footsteps in “Over the Top”?

Do you want to be a multi-tasking wizard by simultaneously raising funds for your community and having a ton of fun with your friends?)

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then we’ve got just the thing for you!

LUEWWD X: We Deliver! is just around the corner (May 17th) and we are looking for eight new contestants! This means that you (yes, YOU!) would put on a costume, hop on the stage, and arm wrestle for charity. And you get to pick four of your friends to be your official entourage. It’s that easy!

Absolutely NO EXPERIENCE is necessary. We’ll get more details to you if you’re interested.

Please contact us at

We are also looking for event volunteers! Check out the volunteer options and sign up here!

LUEWWD enjoyed Rockin’ the Casbah with you for 3 years!


Us LUEWWD organizers are already missing our former headquarters as we start prepping for LUEWWD X because, as you may or may not have heard, Casbah’s doors closed forever on January 1st.

When we hosted our very first event at the James Joyce Irish Pub, it was quite clear that we needed a bigger place to party (thanks to all of you who were there).

Just across the street from the Joyce, Casbah welcomed us into its incredible space and, together, we witnessed ladies’ arm-wrestling competitions really take off in Durham!

During the three years that Casbah was our home-base, LUEWWD awarded eight ladies’ arm-wrestling championship belts, and raised $46,500 for Durham-based nonprofit organizations that benefit women and girls.

We are so grateful to Casbah for not only the venue accommodations for events and meetings, but also the willingness to put up with LUEWWD’s (many, many, many) shenanigans.


Also, Save the Date for LUEWWD X! It will be held Saturday, May 17. The beneficiary will be Durham Connects (click here for a recent article about the program). We’ll be back in a little while with more details.

Yep, You Nailed It!

Thank you to everyone who attended LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! Between pre-event fundraising efforts and on- and-off-stage shenanigans that happened on September 7th, $10,132 was raised toward Habitat for Humanity of Durham’s 2013 Women Build.  

This total breaks our record for most funds raised at a single event.

Champion: Monster Cookie


Madame Moneymaker: Reba the Wrench


Durham Diva: GuilloTINA


Queen of the Losers: Rocky Scissher




Individual Contestant Fundraising Totals:

Reba the Wrench: $2,943

GuilloTINA: $1,491

Work It Out Barbie: $1,108

Pigeon “Daddy Issues” McGina: $778

Rocky Scisshers: $610

Old MacDominatrix: $283

Monster Cookies: $269

Subrina Zero: $54


The Stage Crew: Hostess Marilyn Manho, Ref Sassy McKlassy, and Stage Bouncer Lady Trauma

The Judges: Deanna “Demo D” Crossman (representing Habitat for Humanity of Durham), Jeff Polish (The Monti) and Robert Bland

The Volunteers, The event volunteers did everything from letting you into the main event and testing your luck with raffle ticket sales to counting your incredible donations and serving you drinks.

Sponsors and Donors

Sam Adams/Boston Beer Company

The Casbah

MAYDNEW DJ and Event Planning




Rock Paper Scissors Salon and Gallery (sponsored Rocky Scissher)


Yep Roc Records (raffle prize of 10 CDs!)

Maggiano’s ($25 gift card for raffle)

Photographers BJ Council and Megan Morr donated their time and talent, as well!

MORE PICTURES HERE! (you might have to “Like” us on Facebook to view them)

Turning a negative into a positive

Thanks again to Habitat for Humanity of Durham for sharing a wonderful story from one of their special build projects. Habitat has been a great partner in getting ready for the upcoming LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! charity fundraiser on September 7th.

[This article was initially published in The Durham Herald on May 5, 2013.]

The walls stand firm, and soon the roof trusses will be nailed in place on Habitat for Humanity’s “Pink Ribbon Build” house on E. Ellerbee Street.

Covering many of the 2x4s that frame the house are tributes written in multi-colored ink, giving honor to loved ones who have battled breast cancer and survived, and remembering others who have gone. Amid the sound of hammers pounding away is a sense of peace as you read the names, the words of love, the expressions of gratitude.

Working faithfully alongside the many energetic volunteers and the Habitat construction staff is Margare Allen, the future homeowner of this house. Allen is a breast cancer survivor herself, and together with members of her family, will be on site every Saturday and every Thursday, with hammer in hand, until the completion of her home in late August.


The inspiration for this special project came when Margaret Rubiera, a longtime Habitat volunteer, went to the Duke Cancer Center after receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer. She was deeply moved by the warmth, compassion and kindness of the caregivers – the nurses, lab techs, and assistants – who immediately put her at ease. She decided at that moment to raise the $50,000 sponsorship and build a Habitat house as a way of saying “thank you.”

Rubiera states that this house is a way for many people to express similar gratitude. “By giving of ourselves and doing something tangible for someone else, we turn a negative into a positive. Not only will Margare’s family benefit from the opportunity to own a beautiful home, but the entire neighborhood will be a better place because this wonderful new family will be moving in.”



LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! is on its way…what can YOU do to get ready?

Preliminary total of $9,484 raised at LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! So close to Habitat’s goal of raising $10,000 toward the 2013 Women Build from this event. Let’s get them to the goal!


BUY TICKETS!          VOLUNTEER!          DONATE!          RSVP!

LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! is taking place on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at Casbah (1007 W Main St, Durham).

The doors officially open at 7:30pm but we’ll be ready for you at 6:30pm in the Casbah parking lot with pre-game activities, featuring Liv’s food truck and Locopops, cornhole, and Sam Adams products. General admission costs $5 (buy online or at the door) and VIP tickets cost $25  (seats right by the stage that come with personal bar service; UPDATE: VIP tickets are SOLD OUT). The main event begins at 9:00pm. Contestants will be vying for titles of LUEWWD Champion, Durham Diva, Madame Moneymaker and Queen of the Losers (which comes with a cool prize, too).  The after party will be hosted at James Joyce and will make a contribution to the beneficiary.


What should you do to prepare for this event? (P.S. We love overachievers!)

  • CONGRATULATE YOURSELF. Sounds like you’ve already made the commitment to be a part of LUEWWD IX and that means you’re awesome
  • TELL YOUR FRIENDS about LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It!: 18+ is the rule but younger folks can join us if they are accompanied by an adult
  • BUY TICKET(S): in advance or at the door (general admission $5)
  • BRING CASH! Save up your dollars for raffle tickets, contestant “voting,” open table match-ups, and bribes for the judges
  • HAVE DINNER WITH US before the event starts: Liv’s food truck and Locopops will be there, ready to serve at 6:30!
  • BE BOLD: Strengthen your arm muscles to challenge new and old friends during Open Table wrestling
  • STICK AROUND for the after-party shindig at James Joyce
  • DONATE, of course!
  • (CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE! We’ll have a great time!)


The contestant bracket is full! We’ve got Guillo Tina, Monster Cookie, Old MacDominatrix, Pigeon “daddy issues” McGina, Reba the Wrench, Rocky Scissher, Subrina Zero, Work It Out Barbie. Some of these fierce competitors have online fundraising pages set up for the event. If you want to build up your favorite contestant’s fundraising momentum before the event, go for it!

The contestant who raises the most funds between now and the end of LUEWWD IX’s main event will win the Madame Moneymaker title!


We are so grateful to our returning sponsors for LUEWWD IX: Boston Beer Company, Casbah, MAYDNEW DJ and Event Planning, and Phunco. Rock Paper Scissors Salon and Gallery is sponsoring Rocky Scissher. We are also receiving support from Active Edge Fitness and Performance.


Who is the beneficiary? Funds raised will go toward Habitat for Humanity of Durham’s 2013 Women Build. The Women Build program empowers women to better their community and be leaders on the construction site by building a home in partnership with a hardworking family. The groundbreaking date for the 2013 Women Build will be set soon (likely September), and the home will be built on Lutz Lane in a small Habitat community in east Durham.



Looking for (more than) a few good volunteers! We extend a warm welcome to anyone interested in helping us host these events; they simply couldn’t happen without our fantastic volunteers. Volunteer jobs include: admission, human/walking ATM, contestant round-up, bar service, merchandise and raffle ticket sales, and more. What would you like to do at LUEWWD IX?

LUEWWD - Industrial Strength (4/20/13)


Have any questions? Want to know more about LUEWWD or the 2013 Women Build? Contact us and we’ll get you the answers you need.

A Habitat Story: “There is no more fear”

Thank you to Habitat for Humanity of Durham for sharing the following story with us about Lal and her family. They’ve now been in their Habitat home for over a year. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to read more inspiring Habitat stories. We hope that you will support LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! which is raising funds for the 2013 Women Build.

Lal Mawi/Thuam has experienced different types of homes throughout her life. The now 45-year old mother of two (son Gideon, 28 and daughter Naomi, 25) was born and raised in Burma. Officially called the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Burma is located in South Asia, bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand.

For many years, Lal and her children lived in Burma with her parents. They all shared a room. Food was scarce. There was no electricity. The family would have to line up every day for a small rice portion, given by the government. Because of long-standing racial issues in the country, Lal and her family were identified as illegal aliens, unable to leave the area.

To help her family’s financial situation, Lal moved to Egypt to work and sent the money back to Burma. She stayed for six years, only returning once. Shortly after returning from Egypt, Lal and her children escaped the country and immigrated to Thailand.

The family stayed in a refugee camp for three years. Ten people to a room, they slept on a cot on the floor with mosquito nets. Every so often, the Thai police would enter the camp and line up the refugees, asking for identification. While the conditions may sound abhorrent to Americans, Lal and her family were grateful to be in Thailand because, for the first time, they had enough food to satisfy their hunger.

The family applied for refugee status in the United States in 2008 and was able to leave the refugee camp. The non-profit World Relief sponsored the immigration process and offered legal support, job training and English classes to the family.

“It felt a little bit like heaven,” Lal explains of her family’s first day in the U.S. “For the first time, we got to sleep on a bed. In Burma and Thailand, only the rich have beds. Here, even refugees have these things: a bed, a car, a job.”

Since arriving, Lal and her children have had various types of employment. Lal currently works at UNC-Chapel Hill in Housekeeping, Gideon is a translator for other refugees, and Naomi is a full time student at Durham Tech. They were selected for a Habitat home in 2011 and worked with the organization to rehab their home in Northeast Central Durham.


Lal and her son Gideon

Lal and her family moved into their home in May of last year. It was the first time that each member of the family could have his or her own room.  When they first moved in, they were excited to decorate the home and plant trees in the yard.

“There is no more fear,” Lal says. “We won’t have to move again, because the home belongs to us.”

2012-08-18 12.59.06

Call for LUEWWD IX Contestants, Sponsors, Volunteers

LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! is set for Saturday, September 7, 2013, at Casbah. We look forward to seeing you there for a stupendously fun ladies’ arm-wrestling experience and fundraiser!

Funds raised at LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It! will go toward Habitat for Humanity of Durham’s 2013 Women Build. LUEWWD is hoping to bring fundraising and physical brawn to the project.

Contestants should get on board! Those who sign up soon will have extra time to come up with a great costume, build up both their arm muscles and entourage, help LUEWWD spread the word, and get moving with fundraising.  Let us know reallllllly soon if you’d like to participate! If you need help getting the creative juices flowing for your character or costume, check out previous events’ photos on this site or on Facebook. Or check out your competitors who have already signed up!

Want to donate your time and talents as a volunteer? We extend a warm welcome to anyone interested in helping us host these events; they simply couldn’t happen without our fantastic volunteers. Volunteer jobs include: admission, human/walking ATM, contestant round-up, bar service, merchandise and raffle ticket sales, and more. Tell us what you’d like to do at LUEWWD IX!

LUEWWD - Industrial Strength (4/20/13)

Want to be an event or contestant sponsor? THANK YOU for thinking of us! We can’t wait to talk to you. Please send an email to We have a few donation levels designated with various benefits, and, whenever possible, we incorporate sponsors into the event in creative ways. CheeringFans

You’ve probably caught the drift of this post by now… we want to hear from you! So email if you want to be involved as a contestant, volunteer or sponsor with LUEWWD IX: Nailin’ It!, and/or if you just want to know more about the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham.

Industrial Strength! The Results!

Thank you to everyone who attended LUEWWD VIII: Industrial Strength, a record-breaking fundraising event that benefited Liberty Arts and The Scrap Exchange. We’d like to share the results… and here’s a link to the photos and a VIDEO (a first!) of the event.

Total Money Raised: $10,082.

That breaks the previous record by more than $2,000! (not sure we say it enough how much we love our town and all of the people who support LUEWWD, the wrestlers and the beneficiaries — you are stupendous!)

Champion: Betty Rumble


Madame Moneymaker: Lotta Doe


Durham Diva: Trashley the Treasure Troll


Queen of the Losers: Kit “The Killer” Kellar


King of the Bucks: Lupa


Individual Contestant Fundraising Totals:

Lotta Doe: $1,343

Steel Magnolia: $1,064.10

Scrappy Sally: $602.85

Betty Rumble: $405.01

Lisa “Left Arm” Lopes: $198.50

Pippi Strongstockings: $162.15

Trashley the Treasure Troll: $104

Kit “The Killer” Kellar: $70


The Stage Crew: Hostess Marilyn Manho, Bouncer Rebecca/Sassy McKlassy, Round Boy Fur Pelton John and Round Girl Madame Muscle

The Judges: Mike Waller (representing Liberty Arts), Kaferine De Nerve and Robert Bland

The Volunteers, with a special thanks to Lupa (& co) from Liberty Arts and Jess (& co) from the Scrap Exchange for helping with both volunteer coordination and creation of an amazing outdoor venue. The event volunteers did everything from letting you into the main event and testing your luck with raffle ticket sales to counting your incredible donations and serving you drinks.

Sponsors and Donors

Twisted Tea/Boston Beer Company

Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub

The Casbah

MAYDNEW DJ and Event Planning


Jewelsmith (in support of Steel Magnolia)

Adorn Boutique

CrossFit Durham

Morgan Imports (in support of Lotta Doe)

Bull City Co-Working (in support of Lotta Doe)

Boy Scouts Troop 332 OLL (Raleigh)


Blend Cafe

The event space was provided courtesy of Cordoba Center for the Arts and Re-Use Warehouse.

Additional in-kind support came from The Rock Shop, Studio Xavier and Mr. Trim, Inc. (919.697.5076). Photographers BJ Council, Megan Morr, and Christine Nguyen also shared their talents in-kind.


Or would you like to just WATCH THE VIDEO?

[The sculpture shown in the featured image for this post was created by Tim Werrell. The artists at Liberty Arts each debuted a new piece in time for LUEWWD VIII and to commemorate the first anniversary of being in the new studio space.]

Pictures from LUEWWD VIII: Industrial Strength

Event results are posted HERE!

Would you like to watch the VIDEO (yep, a video!)? Thanks, Aiden Dillard!

The photos shown here were taken by BJ Council, Megan Morr and Christine Nguyen.